House For All: A Wooden Indoor Playground For Kids in Soma City

house for all soma by klein dytham

House-for-All in Soma: tree-shaped pillars lift the timber lattice canopy to make the space light and airy.

Four years ago a devastating earthquake and tsunami destroyed 250,000 homes in the Tohoku region of Japan. In the wake of the tragedy, architect Toyo Ito established Home-for-All, an initiative to build small community centers in the heart of the acres of temporary housing. Funded by donations from around the world, for the last 4 years architects have worked pro bono to build a total of 12 Home-for-All buildings, instilling a sense of pride in the hard-hit areas of Tohoku.

house for all soma by klein dytham

As the children cannot play outside, we felt the building should feel like you are playing in a forest with trees

house for all soma by klein dytham

The latest project to be completed is Home-for-All in Soma, a beautiful, wooden indoor playground for kids designed by Tokyo-based Klein-Dytham Architecture. “As the children cannot play outside, we felt the building should feel like you are playing in a forest with trees,” said the architects, who designed cross-laminated timber columns that create an open, airy space.

house for all soma by klein dytham

A whole array of wild life lives in the trees from parquets to owls, squirrels to rabbits hiding under the benches at the bar of the trees.

Due to ongoing concerns about background radiation levels, the space was conceived as a large straw hat held aloft by trees.

“Our project was handed over to the local community a few weeks ago on 14th February,” said Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham,  “with much love on Valentine’s day. Today it is open and playing an active part in the community.”

house for all soma by klein dytham

house for all soma by klein dytham

house for all soma by klein dytham

The buildings strips reflect red and white striped fabric that panels called ‘kohaku’ that are hung on buildings or interiors in Japan at the time of celebration.

house for all soma by klein dytham

As the roof cantilevers out, creating the eaves to the buildings, the number of layers making up the roof which reduces the roof profile to a thin line

1 Comment

  1. Looks very very beautiful. Though my heart saddens at the number of trees that must have sacrificed their lives to make children happy.

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